Stablecoins Need to Set a Common Standard, Says US Banking Watchdog

The acting OCC chief says stablecoins aren’t ”interoperable” and that should change.

AccessTimeIconApr 27, 2022 at 2:44 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:56 p.m. UTC
Drive the Crypto Policy Conversation Forward
October 24, 2023 • Convene • Washington D.C.Where the industry establishes the digital economy’s legal, regulatory and compliance best practices for the future.Register Now

The companies issuing stablecoins should work out one technical standard, similar to the common web practice created in the early days of the internet, said Michael Hsu, acting chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

“To ensure that stablecoins are open and inclusive, I believe a standard-setting initiative similar to that undertaken by [the Internet Engineering Task Force] and [World Wide Web Consortium] needs to be established, with representatives, not just from crypto/Web 3 firms but also including academics and government,” Hsu said Wednesday at the “Artificial Intelligence and the Economy: Charting a Path for Responsible and Inclusive AI” symposium in Washington, D.C.

He said the OCC is willing to work with other government offices such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology on such an effort, arguing that “stablecoins lack shared standards and are not interoperable.”

The OCC and other U.S. financial agencies have already been engaged in determining an approach to overseeing stablecoins after they agreed in the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets that stablecoin token issuers ought to be treated like regulated banks. The head of the OCC is also a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which has been studying whether to treat stablecoins as a potential risk to the wider U.S. financial system.

UPDATE (April 27 15:40 UTC) – Adds the remarks were made at a symposium.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.